What is landscape photography?
Landscape photography is generally considered to be an attempt to capture the beauty, wonder and amazement of a scene so that others can share in your excitement. Landscape photography is mostly accomplished using wide angle lenses and long exposures on a tripod. Those are not necessities, but they are the standard. Unlike other types of photography, landscape photographs should include crisp focus throughout, hence the frequent use of tripods or other stabilizing devices. Although I prefer nature scenes, landscape photography is not limited to such, it also includes cityscapes.
What do I enjoy about landscape photography?
I enjoy photographing many types of nature scenes, however my favorite type of landscape photography is capturing sunrises and sunsets. One of the secrets that I have learned is that not only is the actual sunrise a wonderous event, but the many colors of dawn as the sunrise approaches are often amazingly spectacular. I usually try to arrive at least one hour before sunrise if I am photographing at a site with which I am familiar. I prefer to scout an unknown site in the daylight hours prior to embarking on a landscape shoot because the change of colors occurs quickly and I don’t want to miss the prime shot.
Is fine art landscape photography easy?
Yes. And no. And well, it partly depends on your personality. Most people do not realize how much patience is involved in photography of all types. Waiting for the right light (or setting up the appropriate artificial lighting) and the right environmental conditions can make the difference between a decent photograph and a great one.
Sunrises, a specific type of landscape photography, have few additional factors to consider. One is visibility of the horizon. Sunrise pictures do not generally turn out well if the horizon is totally blocked, though having a foreground object that can be used as a silhouette will frequently improve the image. And that object does not have to be one of beauty. Even common objects can greatly enhance a sunrise photo.
Also, it is advisable to underexpose your sunrise pictures slightly to bring out the colors. You can adjust the exposure during post processing if necessary.
It is sometimes a little difficult to shoot pre-dawn pictures because for landscape photography you need have the entire image in focus, yet focusing is not possible if the area you need to focus on is too dark. One thing you can do is to use manual focus and use a powerful flashlight to light the foreground while focusing, then turn the flashlight off when you are ready to take your picture.
Landscape photography lends itself very well to HDR (high dynamic range) photography by nature because shadows and bright spots are common. This is especially true of sunrise and sunset pictures.
Does landscape photography require expensive photographic equipment?
Many photographers use expensive cameras, lenses and other photographic equipment. And yes, I am one who does. But there is an old quote that the most important piece of equipment involved in taking quality photographs is the 6 inches behind the camera. Although quality equipment can make it easier, knowledge and skill are much more important. If you have a desire to take high quality landscape photographs then invest in training and education before you worry about investing in equipment.
There are numerous “iPhone photographers” around who claim that you can’t tell the difference between their photographs and those taken on expensive camera equipment. And in many cases they are right. But a “real camera” allows you to adapt to the conditions and requirements of a specific type of photograph and get a more perfect photograph. But if you want to begin learning the basics on a budget, modern cell phone cameras are frequently high quality and easy to learn.
Why should you buy directly from the photographer/artist if possible?
Fine art galleries are a specific type of retail sales establishment. As such, they incur overhead expenses that must be passed on to the consumer (you). If you buy directly from the photographer, you are giving a higher percentage of the profit to the artist, along with saving money for yourself. The photographer/artist must pay a commission to the gallery, often in excess of 30%.
I do sell quality landscape photographs in addition to my Fine Art Landscape Prints. The artistic nature of the prints is the same, the photographic images themselves are the same. One difference between them is that in order to make my general landscape prints more affordable, I usually print them on quality photographic paper rather than printing them on canvas or metal. They are also printed in a more limited range of sizes. As to the fine art aspect, well beauty (art) is in the eye of the beholder. Hopefully you will consider my fine art landscape prints to be beautiful.